I’m always looking for ways to live a little greener. In my quest to live a healthier and eco-friendly life, I’ve discovered that swapping plastic food storage for glass is a great way to start.
Here are a few reasons that making the switch was a no-brainer for me:
- It cuts down on clutter tremendously. Before using glassware, my cabinets were the hottest of messes and it got utterly frustrating trying to keep track of all those containers. Now that my collection is down to just a few containers, the mess is less and everything has its place.
- Using glass is better for the Earth. Lazy confession: When I had uneaten or spoiled food in my plastic tupperware, I’d sometimes throw the whole thing away. It didn’t seem worth it to wash and dry a .75 container when I could replace it so easily. Plastic that finds its way to the trash becomes waste, and because most plastics are not biodegradable, they contribute to the growing size of landfills.
- It’s better for your health. Some plastics contain BPA, a chemical used to make various types of plastic storage for food and drinks. When heated, it can seep into your food and drink. Studies link BPA to potential negative health effects in children and adults, which you can read more about here and here. If you do have to use plastic, you can find BPA-free options just about anywhere. Overall, plastic is safest to use with dry or frozen food.
- Glass is easier to clean and dry. It’s non-porous, it doesn’t stain or absorb the smell of food like plastic. When I run plastic tupperware through the dishwasher, it seems like there’s always some water pooled in the grooves of the lid or container. I don’t experience this quite as much when using glass containers.
- Most importantly, it’s fancy and gives me the illusion that I have my life together. I feel like I should be in a Whole Foods ad when I bust out the good Pyrex!
There are some drawbacks which are pretty minor in my opinion:
- The first and most obvious: glass is fragile. You can’t just toss it in a cabinet, so you’ll have to take special care to preserve it.
- It’s heavy and takes up more space compared to flexible, stackable plastic tupperware.
- Glass water bottles are a bit small. Most hold 14-16 oz. of water, so you’ll be refilling several times a day to get your recommended daily water intake.
- Up front, they’re more expensive than containers.
Where can I find them?
Just about anywhere. Most chain grocery and home goods stores sell glassware.
The larger Pyrex and Anchor containers cost $4-5 each and were purchased at Target or Wal-Mart. The smaller one-cup containers were $7 for a set of four.
Lifefactory water bottles are my new fave. They retail at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for $20-$25, but I’ve managed to get them for the low. The lavender one was a clearance find at Target for $16 and I found the clear one at TJ Maxx for only $8! If you’re going to get a glass water bottle, get one with a silicone covering. It has saved my bottles from several bumps and drops already.
With time, glassware pays for itself. The health and environmental benefits make it a worthy investment, too!
Have you tried using more glass? What are some other ways you stay green?